This paper presents an adaptive amplitude-based self-sensing strategy for ultrasmall tip mass estimation utilizing piezoelectrically-driven microcantilevers. The proposed configuration overcomes the inherent shortfalls (e.g., thermal drifts, electronic noise, and restriction to use in liquid media) currently exist in conventional systems. The microcantilever operates in self-sensing mode utilizing a piezoelectric patch deposited on the cantilever surface. The piezoelectric patch actuates the beam and at the same time senses the beam vibration through inverse and direct piezoelectric effects, respectively, which enables measurement of the surface induced stress. To remedy the measurement limitation at the microscale due to lack of sensitivity and temperature dependency of piezoelectric, an advanced auto-tunable self-sensing controller is proposed which balances the capacitance bridge network. Moreover, an optimization strategy is developed to minimize the error of the output voltage considering the fact that the individual time dependent coordinates are not measurable. Mathematical models and equations of motion are obtained using the Hamilton’s principle treating the microcantilever as a distributed-parameters system. Simulations are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed technique.

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